Is she feeling the Combat Rock vibe of the new Arcade Fire? Also the Emotional Rescue vibe? Heard from another room coming through the walls it sounds like 1983 a little—Emotional Rescue giving over to Undercover of the Night. And so of course Let’s Dance. More later. Still listening.
I was still living in Denver at the time, but I spent all of September ‘93 staying in the Bay Area while I interned at a recording studio. I had a friend who was living on Market St right near Castro. He was writing record reviews for SPIN and the Bay Guardian. I came over to his place to hang out. In Utero was a couple of weeks away from being released, but he had got a hold of an advanced copy that had been dubbed onto a black cassette tape. There had been an adhesive label on the cassette shell that was mostly peeled off. On the residue that remained, the words “IN UTERO” were scrawled sloppily in red felt pen.
Stephen Pride He put the tape in his boombox and cranked it up loud. From the first chord, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It sounded so abrasive and also compelling. I could barely understand a word, and kept inching closer to the speakers. There was nothing but this little cassette. No cover art, no lyric sheet, no song titles. Just this loud, ass-kicking, riotous noise that I’d been hearing so much controversy about for weeks. It was seriously exciting getting to hear it before the release. Remember, kids, this was way before the internet.
Stephen Pride A couple of weeks later I bought the CD and had the lyrics, so I started wondering who the lady was in her underwear on the disc face. I put it in my aunt’s stereo and cranked the volume. It shook one of her polite little bookshelf speakers so hard that it fell on the floor, and the tweeter stopped working. Luckily I was able to fix it.
Stephen Pride Now I’ve got this lavish 4-disc box set with a giant booklet and a fridge magnet to pour over, 20 years (and about 2 weeks) later. Thinking about that little black cassette, it looked like it had started off with a biology lecture on it or something. Lots has happened since then, but I can still hear what startled me in that first chord. This isn’t about nostalgia. The record still means something to me, still says things to me.
South Africa - Mahlathini & Mahotella Queens - Stop Crying (by Seka Moke)
Happy 95th Birthday Nelson Mandela
Long Live! Thank you.